This Friday the newest Batman animated series, The Brave and the Bold, premieres its newest episode, "Mayhem of the Music Meister," a musical starring Neil Patrick Harris. The Music Meister (a new villain created for this episode) is a enemy who creates chaos using his voice (much like Ashlee Simpson), and when he hits a certain note he hypnotizes others into doing his bidding. Like the cast of Rent, he is almost constantly singing, and in this particular episode he hijacks a communication satellite and casts the world under his musical spell. With us devoting a post to NPH as Peter Parker, and his recent starring role as Dr. Horrible, it looks as if The Music Meister is just another addition to Neil Patrick's geektastic resume, and hopefully it will not the be the last time we witness the Music Meister's range.
Surprisingly "Mayhem of the Music Meister" is not the first time Batman has dipped his batarang into the world of Broadway. In the late-nineties, after Disney's success with Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, Warner Bros began planning a musical version of the Caped Crusader. Jim Steinman, famous for his Bat Out of Hell series with Meat Loaf and the Bonnie Tyler ballad "Total Eclipse of the Heart," was tapped to write the music and lyrics, while everyone from Stephen Daldry to Tim Burton was rumored to direct. Though it never made it past the planning stages, Steinman had already written and recorded some of the songs in demo form for the show, which he later released on his website.
Judging from the demos, Dark Knight of the Soul, as it has been dubbed by its cult of fans, is exactly what one would think a Jim Steinman-Batman musical would sound like -- Bat Out of Hell, but instead of Meat Loaf, it's Batman singing while throwing the punches. With Catwoman and Batman singing tender duets and Joker's song "Wonderful Toys" where he rhymes the title with the line "How did Abercrombie & Fitch come up with all those boys?" it seems that Dark Knight of the Soul would be far gayer than the upcoming Spider-Man musical, Turn off the Dark.
Hopefully the Batman musical will hit the stage in some form one day. If only it could include the true musical majesty we've been waiting for, a love duet between Batman and Robin.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold airs tonight at 7:30 ET on Cartoon Network.
-- CHRISTOPHER RUDOLPH
Previously > Tim Gunn To The Rescue